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Traveling Light

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  711 ratings  ·  139 reviews
From the New York Times bestselling author and masterful storyteller behind The Art of Arranging Flowers comes a new novel about the search for what really matters in life...

Driving from North Carolina to New Mexico with her three-legged dog, a strange man's ashes, and a waitress named Blossom riding shotgun isn't exactly what Alissa Wells ever wanted to be doing. But it's
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 10th 2017 by Berkley Books
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  711 ratings  ·  139 reviews

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Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

Winning the bid for an unclaimed storage unit wasn't Alissa's favorite prize, but what she found inside actually changed her life.

Alissa works for a local newspaper in North Carolina owned by her father and impulsively decides that she is going to take a road trip to New Mexico to return Roger Hart's ashes that were in the storage unit to his family.

Alissa begins her journey with the ashes and her dog. When she stops at a restaurant and meets Blossom, her road trip and her life have an added pas
Chris  C - A Midlife Wife
The author has created a delightful and surprising read in this new book. A quirky, yet never boring story, we are asked to tag-along on this very special journey.

We get to follow along with Alyssa and her newfound friends she drives from North Carolina to New Mexico. Along the way she learns things about her life and herself from a very surprising young woman and other people she meets along the way. There may even be a bit of romance too. Yay!

This is the first book I have read by this author a
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a delightful book! I loved the author's "voice". This book was both sweet and deep also. I laughed and teared up. The characters, especially the teens, were my favorite.
3.5 stars. I was looking for a fun, light read on a gray winters day. This was just right. Al and her 3 legged dog, Casserole take a road trip to return the ashes of a dead man they don't know to New Mexico. As their journey begins they meet a young free spirited girl named Blossom. It turns out to be a learning experience in many ways for both. Cute story. ...more
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
The premise of this book is fantastic: woman wins a 'Storage War', only to discover she is now the owner of a box containing the cremated remains of man (Eww!). After a bit of investigation, she hits the road to drive across country to return him home.

Road trip books are my thing. Who doesn't long to hit the open road for adventure? So, I'm still puzzled as to how this book got it all wrong. The audiobook's narrator certainly didn't help. Neither did the lead character's frumpy, passive ways. N
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fun, light hearted read. Perfect for summer. The name says it all. Good messages, especially for anyone who 'likes' things a certain way. I enjoyed the journey and would totally recommend. ...more
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended to Barbara by: Pamela Embree-Kyle
Shelves: fast-read, chic-lit
“Traveling Light” is light chic-lit. Protagonist Alissa (Al) Wells bids on and receives the contents of an abandoned storage locker. In the locker is box of ashes (remains) with the name of the mortuary and the name of the deceased. Al is in her thirties, single, and an editor of a small town newspaper owned by her father. She wants to return the remains to the family, but the mortician won’t provide her with any information. She’s in North Carolina and the mortician is in New Mexico, so: road t ...more
Feb 11, 2017 rated it liked it
I initially picked this up because I like road-trip novels for the most part, and the main character was on her way to Grants, New Mexico, where I used to live because my father was a geologist who worked in the uranium mines.

I enjoyed it for the most part, but it would have earned another star if it the author hadn't used up her entire lifetime supply of semicolons in the book. (Seriously: It got to be almost an affectation, like Dan Brown's love of interrobangs.) It didn't get fewer stars bec
Apr 10, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received this book as an advanced reading copy from Goodreads in exchange for an honest review. I would give this book 4.5*. This is a nice light read about a Virginia woman who wins a bid on a storage locker's contents that has been abandoned. She finds an urn with someone's cremated remains inside and decides she needs to get this person's remains to their family in New Mexico. This story tells her journey across the United States and the people she meets along the way. She is very shy aroun ...more
Sue Em
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When the contents of the storage unit she won contained someone's ashes, Alissa embarks on an adventure as she tries to return the ashes to his family. This charming story is the perfect antidote grey skies and wintry weather. ...more
Patrice M.
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Good story - fun characters and steady build on the plot all kept me reading. Quite enjoyable!
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Nice light summer read. Likeable characters. Interesting plot.
Heather Hicks
This book is about a young woman named Alissa living in North Carolina and she places a random bid on a storage unit. In going through the stuff in the storage unit she finds the ashes of a man named Rodger Hart with a card attached to the box of ashes and finds that he was cremated at a mortuary in New Mexico. She hops in her VW bug with her three legged dog named Casserole and embarks on a journey across the country in hopes of returning the ashes to a loved one. During her road trip she picks ...more
Tony Parsons
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Asheville, NC (Blue Ridge Mts.). Alissa Kate Wells (narrator, reporter) works for her father Oscar Wells who owns the Clayton Times & News.
Other employees are: Dixie Weston, James Williams, & Ben.
Alissa had entered a contest & won the contents of a storage unit at the Affordable storage facility in Wilmington, NC.

She jumped in Faramond (1998, Volkswagon bug) & away she & Casserole (3-legged dog) went to claim the prize.
It wasn’t much but a fancy box of cremated ashes of Roger Hart’s remains.
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 1/2 stars
Beautiful book, thoroughly enjoyed the story and the connections between characters! Was a little disappointed by the anti-climatic ending, but I really did love this book! Would recommend!
Feb 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: here-be-dogs
One never expects to be driving cross-country with a dog, a teenage waitress, and a dead guy's ashes riding shotgun, but if it happened, it would be great if it happened the way it does here. ...more
Pam Asberry
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
From the publisher:
"This novel was inspired by real-life events: when the author was working at a hospice agency, an unclaimed box of ashes—with her agency’s business card attached—was discovered in a storage facility. Branard became intrigued by how the remains of someone could get lost—and how the discovery could be the perfect catalyst for a life change.

"In TRAVELING LIGHT, Alissa Wells is the one who becomes the surprise new owner of remains—Roger Hart’s, to be exact—after she bids on an aba
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recommend Traveling Light is a fast read with depth. This is the story of Al, a 30ish North Carolina, newspaper journalist who, thus far, has lived her life as a practical person, meeting expectations of others, and reacting to life as it is thrown at her. This is where the adventure begins. Al steps out of her everyday, mundane existence and bids on a storage unit and wins the bid which makes her the owner of its contents which include the cremated remains of a mystery man. She sets out on a ...more
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jerjen

Traveling Light
By Lynne Branard
ISBN13: 9781101989043
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jerjen


From the New York Times bestselling author and masterful storyteller behind The Art of Arranging Flowers comes a new novel about the search for what really matters in life…

Driving from North Carolina to New Mexico with her three-legged dog, a strange man’s ashes, and a waitress named Blossom riding shotgun isn’t exactly what Alissa Wells ever wanted to be doi
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, read-in-2017
Have you ever wanted to just take off on an adventure? That is exactly what Alissa Wells, a 30-something single gal from Clayton, North Carolina does. After winning an abandoned storage shed in an auction Alissa finds a box of ashes inside. She decides it's time to take some of those vacation days and she is going to drive to New Mexico to deliver Roger Hart's ashes to their rightful resting place.

Al, as she prefers to be called, has never left her hometown or her home for that matter. When her
Alissa Wells enters a contest and bids on a storage unit without knowing what its contents are. It turns out the most surprising item is an urn, with the cremated remains of one Roger Hart. There is only a business card for the funeral home attached to the top of the urn and with only that to go on, Alissa decides to travel from North Carolina to New Mexico in the hopes of finding family or a friend who knew Mr. Hart and can give his ashes the respectful end they deserve. She sets out in her lit ...more
Lilith Thorn
Jul 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Branard's book Traveling Light gives light to something many of it's readers will struggle with... doing what's right. Though this isn't a story of morality, really, it's fun, easy to read search for who we are and what we're passionate about as well as who we're passionate about.

Al (Alissa) does something she never thought she would, infact, she barely remembers bidding on that storage locker. It was an absent minded act that ended up changing her life. Bidding on and winning a storage locker f
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
. I enjoyed this book. It was a real change from the cozy mysteries and serious reading I’ve been doing. – Alissa Wells (everyone calls her Al) has always accepted responsibility and followed the path “handed” to her. When she was 5 she became “Mother” to her little sister when their mother died. She helped her father, the editor and publisher of the small local paper, and followed him in the newspaper business as she grew up. She was not one to challenge expectations. Now, in her mid 30s she di ...more
Sarah Frobisher
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: drama, rt-reviews
Traveling Light is a lovely novel about finding oneself with a little help from friends. Alisa is endearing, though a bit naive, always seeing the good in others and opening herself up to strangers, which seems to work in her favor for the most part. The trip from North Carolina to New Mexico keeps the story moving as Alisa goes from town to town, finding new adventure at each stop, while also giving the reader an interesting back drop to the story. Branard's use of flashbacks bring depth to the ...more
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Alissa Wells - an almost 40 year old woman- has been the diligent daughter. She had taken ownership of her family home after her mother died. She works for her father - who is the owner of the NC town newspaper. And, she has never married. Her high school crush broke her heart.

In a contest, she wins the contents of a storage locker. Inside are the cremains of one Roger Hart from Texas. It becomes Al's quest to find Roger's family and home - and return him to where he belongs. But, where is that?
Bonnie Gleckler Clark
A great Summer Read!!!! Actually my Book Club’s August assignment. Thanks to Sandra Finlayson for her suggestion.
ALISSA WELL has always (albeit unknown to her) followed a script for her life. When her mother died at the age of 31, Alissa stepped in (or up) to become the care-giver for her Sister and for her Father. Once her sister was grown, Alissa started working for her Father at his newspaper. Now, she wants to write her own script.
This is Alissa’s story, though there are a few other charact
Mar 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
You know those books where you randomly pick them up and read the back thinking to yourself, "That sounds cute" and then turn out to be a hidden gem you are happy to have stumbled upon? Yup, this book was one of those. It starts out with such a simple concept - a road trip. But the surprise moments and life lessons that were sprinkled throughout the book brought on by such sweet characters really had me smiling a lot and wanting to know what was coming around the next bend. I am the type of pers ...more
Sandra Murphy
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This novel is now one of my favorites by Lynne Branard (along with The Last Odd Day and The Arms of God). I did not find this a complex tale, but there was inspiration woven within the story that speaks to me. The characters are well drawn and the flow of the story carries the reader from page to page, wanting to know what happens next. Lou Winters remained mysterious ... and though I wanted to know him better, the mystery made him all the more captivating. There are two favorite scenes for me i ...more
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed this book, and I'm going to pass it on to a young friend that is currently embarking on a new life adventure.

The main character in the book, Alissa (Al) Wells, is stuck in a rut of a life that she just sort of fell into -- not necessarily a path that she would have chosen for herself, but just what happened along the course of her life so far. So when she uncharacteristically decides to take a risk and venture out across country on a road trip with her 3-legged dog and trust
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #21 Travelling Light 1 1 Mar 02, 2017 02:01PM  

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